Believe it or not, there are quite a few varieties of chicken. Before thinking about where to buy chickens, you must first familiarize yourself with the different species of chickens. Different species of chickens are bred for very different and unique purposes. If you happen to be a newcomer to buying and raising chickens, here are some tips to get you familiar.
Learn about the many different types of chickens before actually purchasing them. Chicken can be separated into 3 broad categories. They are:
- Pure Breeds
- Egg Laying Hybrids
- Mixed Hybrids
The birds from each category have their own special qualities. For example, the egg laying hybrids are bred for the specific purpose of laying eggs. They have small bodies and not much meat mass so they cannot be slaughtered for their meat.
The first place to go to when buying chickens is a chicken breeder. Always buy from a reputable breeder and take all the time you need in verifying credibility. You can always get a reference for a local chicken breeder from those farmers that own chickens in your area. Check out several breeders and look at their livestock, before finally making a deal.
Always take note of their livestock and look at the living conditions of the chickens. If you notice that the chickens are looking unhealthy, then you should never buy from the breeder, even if their livestock is cheaper than in the rest of the other breeders in the area. Quite often the price of the chicken will directly correlate to its living environment and treatment. Cheaper chickens will often live in lousy conditions and suffer from poorer health than their more expensive cousins.
Today, there are also a good many hatcheries selling chickens online. This doesn’t change anything insofar as you would first need to know the breed of the chickens that you want. On online hatchery will also need to be verified for credibility, though likely more sternly than a hatchery you can simply go and visit. You can always ask local chicken owners for references.
Take a good long look at the hatchery’s website before you buy anything. Make sure that you check out their stock before you buy the chicks off the internet. Hatcheries won’t ship chicks in winter months due to the cold. This is why spring deliveries of chicks are booked well in advance.
Many a novice chick-buyer has gotten stuck and been forced to wait a good while before receiving their little ones, as a result.
The chickens that you have selected should be very active, vocal and energetic. The chicks should have an entire coat of full feathers without any thinning or bald spots. If you see any signs of illness, contact the breeder or the hatchery immediately.
When you buy the chicks online, they will usually arrive in a day or two. Keep in mind that these are living creatures which will get thirsty and hungry en route. Since you can’t ensure their nutrition in transit, make sure that you have water and feed ready for them on arrival.